CHEMISTRY OF TRUTH
"Let go of your worries and be completely clear-hearted, like the face of a mirror that contains no images. If you want a clear mirror, behold yourself and see the truth." - RUMI
OCTOBER 10, 2010
The mat serves as a mirror for each of us. The opportunity to let go of anger, fear, stress allows us to open up to our happiest selves. This process requires we see ourselves honestly. Its easy to stay upset and hold on to grudges and muddy up the picture of what we really feel or who we are. So this experiment is quite radical if you're used to masking or hiding from your truth.
There is a Chemistry to Truth. And we have in every moment a choice about how to influence the balance with the chemicals of our thoughts and our breath. If you do not breath out fully you are in fact poisoning yourself. Or if in your thoughts you are self-critical or judgmental this drama is creating a stress and hormones like cortisol are being released.
Writes Donna Farhi, New Zealander yoga teacher, in Holding Your Breath (Yoga Journal, April 1996): "Stress may be real or imagined. Just imagining a stressful event can reduce inhalation volume. When we are continuously exposed to stress, then the body just forgets to relax." Obviously, the breathing pattern changes, and "it just might become a statement about what happened in the past rather then what is happening to us in the present".
Every exhale, every pose can help us relieve the past and be more conscious of the moment we are living. You can by breathing wisely and thinking healing thoughts dilute the concentration of the harsh chemicals in your body. But first the practice of studying yourself, svadhaya, asks that we see ourselves truthfully. You engage when you hold your breath, where you get overly dramatic for no reason, where you are making yourself TOXIC. And the diluting can be accomplished through mantra as well, what you are thinking on purpose. A favorite of mine is the lovingkindness meditation:
Think of yourself, offer healing and a way to let go of sadness, anger, worry saying inside:
May I be happy
May I be peaceful
May I be loved
Then think of a challenging person, who you need to heal the relationship and say to them inside:
May You be happy
May You be peaceful
May You be loved.
Then think of how to influence the chemistry of the world (of which you are a part of) by saying to all people:
May We be happy
May We be peaceful
May We be loved.
The answer to stress, anger you feel towards a situation or a person or thing is not eye for an eye. Fighting is only going to make it more acidic, more poison will kill us eventually. The only answer is love. Love dilutes the pain, the worry and relieves us of this toxicity. And in that truth we see our best most beautiful selves! Love your day, love your life, love yourself! Silvia
NAKED YOGA ON THURSDAYS BY GUEST BLOGGER ANDREA HARRIS
Naked Yoga on Thursday's!!
Okay, now pick your jaw up off the floor and get your head out of the gutter! We should all come to class fully clothed as usual. What I'd like us to shed before we come into the studio are the labels, the roles, the responsibilities, or anything else that we let define us. These things, these unnecessary garments, hide the true spirit inside each of us.
We often let the labels weigh us down, and because of them we may experience guilt, the feeling of not being good enough. We make excuses for not being able to live up to some impossible stantards based on who we, or someone else thinks we should be. In the real world, excuses are generally unacceptable. In the studio, they are not even necessary! We don't have to be anything other than who we are-perfect in our imperfections, and loved deeply for what lies beneath our bodies, beyond the roles we play.
When I as you to show up "naked", it means show up as the true you. Come tired, come sad, come sore, elated, complacent, excited, bored, angry, or whatever. Just show up as whoever you are in the moment. We'll work on peeling off our metaphorical clothes in a sweet, self-loving flow that allows our light to shine bigger and brighter than ever. See you guys soon!
Love in all ways,
DOWN WITH PROCRASTINATION ASK FOR WHAT YOU WANT
SEPTEMBER 4, 2010: From the teachings of yoga a teacher shared with a teacher that shared with a teacher that shared with teacher Pamela Bliss who shared with me, "One of the most profound bits of wisdom shared with me in a teaching yoga is that procrastination is severely detrimental to one's development on the spiritual path." For me the truth of Yoga is that if you practice regularly you see swift changes mentally, emotionally and physically. And if you step away from your practice chances are inertia takes over and it is epically difficult to get back on the mat again. Or as Jon Kabat Zinn says, "not practicing is a form of practice." And the follow up from my friend Dr. Gregg "so how's that working for you?"
"The fault is in the one who blames. Spirit sees nothing to criticize." RUMI
This is not about blaming ourselves for our shortcomings. Not at all. Instead just think of yoga as TRUTH SERUM (SATYA SERUM). The body doesn't lie. When you are on one leg balancing and your mind is in a million places you will fall out of that 1 legged balance for sure. If you are in a warrior pose and your leg is shaking after not practicing yoga all summer well, not doing something has resulted in your muscles responding by shaking when they didn't do that when you took action and came to class 3 times per week. On the other hand your life is not a dress rehearsal so be happy you are pushing all your poses to that point you call the soft edge.
To me there are 2 kinds of procrastinators: (1) those that have gotten off the couch and attempted and (2) those that have never fully tried. Interestingly, just because you might fall into category #1 of procrastinators doesn't guarantee you momentum. For that you have to stay engaged. So whether you've tried a little, a lot, or not at all procrastination in any of its forms will stunt your spiritual development. You will forever stay a Spiritual Baby and never evolved towards spiritual toddlerhood or adolescence or adulthood. The path is sequential.
I have healed myself of procrastination is through yoga and my spiritual practices that support my yoga, because I grew up enough to ask for help from the universe. The reason I would often get paralyzed by procrastination was I was afraid of having to do everything by myself, I even felt like I had to always offer my prayers for others but never for me. "Where did you get that idea you aren't allowed to petition the universe with prayer? You are part of this universe. You're a constituent - you have every entitlement to participate in the actions of the universe, and to let your feelings be known. So put your opinion out there. Make your case. Believe me - it will at least be taken into consideration." -Elizabeth Gilbert from Eat, Pray, Love
So start now or reboot, or restart today. Stop blaming, stop waiting for everything to be perfect, stop postponing your happiness and just ASK FOR WHAT YOU WANT! And keep asking, continue the momentum. And if you want a really easy way to to keep up with yourself and your intentions well then make regular, consistent appointments with your yoga mat and I promise you will see your life blossom beyond your wildest intentions! Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia
PS if you need a quicker kick off then join me on Retreat for a 4 day adventure in Moab, Utah or Pagosa Springs, Colorado this Fall come November and December. www.alchemytours.com
THE FOUR AGREEMENTS
APRIL 5, 2010: This week in all my classes our focus will be the book the best selling book The Four Agreements where don Miguel Ruiz gives four principles to practice in order to create love and happiness in your life. Totally very Yogic.
The Four Agreements are:
1. Be Impeccable with your Word: Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the Word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your Word in the direction of truth and love. (SATYA is yogic principle April 5th)
2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
3. Don’t Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
4. Always Do Your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.
FIRST AGREEMENT TRUTH LOVE INTEGRITY
APRIL 5, 2110: This is according to the author the most important one and most difficult to honor. It is to be impeccable with your word. He writes, "through the word you express your creative power. It is through the word you manifest everything. Regardless of what language you speech, your intent manifests through the word. What you dream, what you feel and what you really are, will all be manifested through the word."
What I want to point out is that we are not talking about just verbal language here. Although it is curious that of all animals on earth we are the only one who speaks. But think of internal dialogue that becomes external expression.
"The word is not just a sound or a written symbol. The words is a force; it is the power you have to express and communicate, to think and thereby to create the events of your life." "The word is the most powerful tool you have as a human; it is a tool of magic. But like a sword with two edges your word can create the most beautiful dream or your word can destroy everything around you. Being impeccable with your word is not using the word against yourself. If I love myself I will express that love in my interactions with you, and then I am being impeccable with the word, because that action will produce a like reaction. If I love you, then you will love me. If I have gratitude for you, you will have gratitude for me."
"Being impeccable with your word is the correct use of your energy; it means to use your energy in the direction of TRUTH and LOVE for yourself."
In yoga this concept is known as Satya. When we are able to live with integrity always speaking with loving truth to ourselves and to others we will immediately realize an experience of lightness and ease. Every pose on the mat is a chance to practice being honest with ourselves. The power to live in truth is the same as the power to live in love. So may you be happy, may you be peaceful, may you be loved! Sat Nam, Silvia (In Truth and Light)
TRUTH OR DARE? WHICH DO YOU CHOOSE?
"Attend the birthing of the radiant light within you" - Vijnana Bhairava Tantra
JANUARY 12, 2010: I was recently thinking of the game TRUTH OR DARE that we all played as kids. Wondering if you were someone who chose dare or truth more often? Me? Well I consistently chose Dare. I was more than a little afraid of the truth – I’d have to tell the 11th grade boy Ben I was in love with him or maybe admit I really wanted the lead role in the next musical or that it hurt my feelings when I only got 2nd chair in Symphony orchestra last week. You know the important stuff. The dare was a whole lot easier….I would rather take my chances and eat a bug than let everyone else know my truth, and reveal my heart.
Well what you choose now as an adult? Truth or Dare. And more importantly why.
Yoga helps to reveal the self to the self and we wake up to our own truth. As John Donohue writes, “Awaken to the mystery of being here and enter the quiet immensity of your own presence.” So really Yoga is asking us to DARE TO TELL THE TRUTH. First to ourselves then to be that real person out in the world.
Tapping into your own creative potential and full-filling the purpose for why you are here is what Yogis call “Sva-Dharma. This means self-duty.
I can’t think of a more DARING thing to do!
"Your own duty done imperfectly
is better than another man's done well."
-Bhagavad Gita 3:35
Yoga is Truth and Dare. And when we each are following our true paths we are at peace with ourselves (no more pretending, no more 10th grade self afraid to show others how you feel). And from daring to fulfill our duty we give permission to everyone else to be themselves and the world finds peace. This is not easy. So on the mat we try out new poses, we hold poses or we sustain a flowing sequence to experiment with daring ourselves to learn more about who we are. And the way we practice our yoga becomes the way we live our lives.
This year accept the Dare and stay connected to your intentions for meeting the destiny for which you’ve been called to in this life. Follow your svadharma and go beyond your fear and what you thought possible. Don’t hide behind work (that’s the adult equivalent of eating a bug because you don’t want to be honest) and get on with it! Be the peaceful warrior you are. Act as if your life depended on it….for it does. Let the lovefire burn bright! Silvia
"Look to your own duty;
do not tremble before it;
nothing is better for a warrior
than a battle of sacred duty." -Bhagavad Gita 2:31
TRUTH ABOUT YOURSELF
What is the most truthful thing you’ve said today?
What have you lied about?
Which voice is more powerful within you?
I have been meditating a lot about Sayta, (Truth) and how when we are aligned with our own truth our hearts open up. In yogic terms Truth can be defined on three levels, the first deals with communication: that we tell the truth about what we see, what we feel and what we need. When we feel out of control it is usually where there is a conflict between what we think and what we feel. Then we suffer and our actions fall apart.
Chapter 2.36 presents to us that if we are “dedicated to the truth and integrity, our thoughts, words and actions gain the power to manifest.” (Translation Secret Power of Yoga). If we are founded in the truth then we actually “Change our relationship to relationship itself.” That is real Shakti! (power). What I love about this practice is that it uncovers our real truth whether we want it to or not. We put ourselves in these interesting poses and come face to face with all the stuff we’ve stored in our tissues. Without a doubt whatever we feel in our bodies is OUR TRUTH.
Judith Lasater says, “our bodies which are the storage unites for our feelings simply cannot lie.”
This awakens us to our own best courage to be honest and forthcoming. Dag Hammarskjold puts it like this, “Life only demands the strength you posses, Only one feat is possible – not to have run away.” So on the mat all we have to do is show up. Then as we experience the truth of the body we more fully realize what we feel and need in our lives off the mat. I wish you all your own best courage to not turn away from yourself but to remain true to your heart. Love the day, Silvia
TRUE TO YOU: IS YOUR LIFE A WARNING OR EXAMPLE?
He said that “our lives either serve as an example or a warning to one another.”
The first part of my adult life was a warning. I worked too hard 76-80 per week, didn’t make enough “me time” was constantly striving to meet everyone else’s expectations (parents, partner, boss, colleagues). I didn’t eat well, I didn’t sleep well, my health suffered and I was lost. My creative powers of being TRUE to who I am were dwindling away to nothing. However to the outside world everything looked great! According to the title on my business cards I had achieved a high level of status in the corporate world at an impressively early age and I was making an embarrasing amount of money at the time. It looked like I was on top of the world. A number of situations “woke me up” from my stupor. Including a 25 year old staff member in
The second part of my adult life and the rest of life for that matter is dedicated to serving as an example. I have taken an oath that I will be true to being me. It started for me by making “dates” with the yoga mat to go to class. This was the me time I needed to come back into my creative power and erase the doubt that had plagued me and had kept me living life for everyone else. Being honest with oneself is not easy. I won’t kid you. It’s hard work. It requires immense amounts of courage. You will experience failure and heart break (or life experiments as I call them). But if you stay the course saying to yourself day in and out, “I WILL NO LONGER DOUBT MYSELF” then life will no longer feel like its being done to you but instead it will feel like its for you.
We are all here to contribute honestly by enjoying our gifts and sharing them with the world. Or Woodrow Wilson, 28th President of the
Remember this the universe is on your side and wants you to be at peace with the truth of who you are. So today acknowledge that you did your best, you made an honest effort at breathing, loving and living and that is all any of us can do. And then quietly ask yourself, is your life as you are living it right now serving as a warning or as an example? The honest choice is yours. And the sweet reward is a happier more peaceful life on YOUR TERMS.
Sat Nam (in truth and light), Silvia
DISCOVER THE TRUTH OF WHO YOU ARE
May 3, 2009:
Ok you guys, I’m a little embarrassed to admit I used to be one of those people that would take forever to order food at dinner. I’d be at the table waiting for everyone else to order first because I didn’t have the confidence in the truth of my first instinct in what to order for myself. Now this may not be a big deal at dinner but it’s a tough way to go through life being indecisive or confused to the TRUTH of who we are (starting with what we want to eat). Why didn’t I order what I wanted to? I was too afraid of disappointing someone at the table because they wanted me to order something different than what I wanted or I felt guilty ordering something too expensive. Really in all honesty I was just afraid of standing up and being myself, declaring to the world “Yes, this is what I want based on who I am.” This is me remaining true to my truth.
This is how I was living life at the time. I felt constant guilt over what everyone else wanted me to be. So I tried desparertly to be who they wanted me to be by wearing that costume. I never felt like myself inside the costume and the longer I wore it the more itchy and uncomfortable it became until I just couldn’t deny any more that the costume was NOT ME. My soul was sweating and dying inside from not revealing the true me. So my spiritual practice evolved and I stopped trying so hard to be who other people wanted me to be.
I realized that I was trying to be a photocopy of someone else and as we all know photocopies are never as good as the originals. I would only ever be the second best someone else. The only person I could be the best at being was ME. In Yoga that’s known as Satya, “Truth and authenticity” of acknowledging our unique humanness. I don’t to want to be a PHOTOCOPY PERSON. Do you? Because take it from me, you don’t have to be.
In yoga we peel of these outer layers or costumes, masks we wear to rediscover our TRUE selves. It’s not always easy work, there are tears, laughter, sweating, sometimes even a bit of pain. But overall it’s a whole lot easier than trying to wear an ill fitting costume the rest of our lives. And it makes ordering dinner much easier too!
So how do we maintain it? Well what we are talking about here is a daily spiritual practice (known as Sadhana) where you make time to stay connected to your own truth otherwise the resistance monsters of fear, doubt, guilt come back. And it is achieved through self-love, seeing who we are is just perfect (without condition) we are each vitally important to the world as we are true. This is where we found ultimate freedom from mental torture and stress.
Does this seem a little self-centered? Of course, it should. As Sadie Nardini says, “spiritual disciplines like yoga are built around this concept of moving into and from our center.” The cool thing is by being more authentic we give everyone else around us permission to be themselves. There is no pretending and relationships deepen. It’s a neat way to live, really the only way to live.
The alternative it seems is to keep wearing the costumes, building really great “Life Resumes” as if you were trying to apply for the job of your own life. I did that. I put together a Silvia Resume (didn’t really feel totally like me because I was trying to impress everyone else). Then through yoga funny thing happened. As the true me was allowed to shine out I realized I already had the job of being Silvia. And I was only going to get this one chance, this one lifetime to enjoy remaining true to my own truth.
Today, even for a little while take off the costume, be your funky self! So you’ll love yourself more, love your day more, love your life more! Silvia
FINDING & HOLDING OUR TRUTH (SATYA GRAHA)
MARCH 3RD, 2009: “Satya” is the Sanskrit word for “Truth.” The word “Graha” means “holding to.” Through yoga we anchor ourselves in the body to reduce the fluctuations of the mind in order to appreciate our feelings, emotions and sensations more honestly. It is really easy to disconnect from our truth. It is easy to deny ourselves pleasure or happiness or even freedom. But in all honesty the more we turn inside to the seat of our strength and where our peace lies then the more we can be our real selves without apology. Being ourselves by grounding into this inner sense of truth may be the most courageous act of all!
So as you breath today feel how the universe is trying to support you, how the earth and gravity allow you to walk freely in any direction you choose, how grace herself is breathing you when you forget. The universe is on your side and wants you to be at peace with the truth of who you are. So today acknowledge that you did your best, you made an honest effort at breathing, loving and living and that is all any of us can do. Sat Nam, Silvia
LIFE PHILOSOPHY: LOVE EVERYONE TELL THE TRUTH
SEPTEMBER 15, 2008: My personal philosophy formed from these last 15 years of yoga practice is “LOVE EVERYONE AND TELL THE TRUTH.”
To me these things go together and if you tell the truth you not only have fewer conflicts but those that do arise are more easily able to be resolved.
When we tell the truth we want to love more.
When we love more we find it easier to tell the truth
So today we dedicated our practice to TRUTH. Acknowledging this asks that we try to be ourselves: that we breath honestly, we do the poses truthfully and we start peeling back the layers of truth in our lives. So right now bring all your attention to yourself and let your body be calm as you go into your own heart where truth is always waiting. Know the universe is on your side and that you are doing your BEST!
So we start with what is UNTRUTH. When we aren’t honest we feel unsteady, anxious, uprooted. Who wants that? Instead truth influences us in amazing ways:
1. One of the most beautiful qualities of the truth is that it is very grounding. A sense of calm enters our life.
2. The truth reveals, there is something that is uncovered, a place of freedom, something is discovered (we have nothing to hide).
3. Truth transforms, once you move into the calm, it begins to reveal the beauty based in your heart then you shift to your best life ever!
SATYA GRAHA - HOLDING ON TO TRUTH
JULY 19TH, 2008: “Satya” is the Sanskrit word for “Truth.” The word “Graha” means “holding to.” Satya Graha, commonly translated as “Truth Force,” is the name that Mahatma Gandhi gave to his movement of social change through nonviolence. In class today we focused on the muscular action of Hugging In (or holding on to) so that we might feel more grounded in the Truth of our own experience.
We are surrounded today more than ever with the gratification of dishonesty. We see folks on TV rewarded with money and prizes for being the most adept at lying. This will change us as a society if we let it. So we dedicate our yoga practice to TRUTH, Satya. This means truth in our bodies - recognizing what they most need today, observing the truth of our breath (what does it reveal about how you are really feeling, not how you are pretending to feel), and ultimately the truth of our hearts and minds.
The yoga is always transportable so the we apply this self-awareness to all the choices we make: in how we eat, what we buy, who we spend time with. This is how we LIVE our truth. And it is not always that easy to "hold onto" as the truth of of our own intentions. So join me, take off the masks you might wear, see yourself as the amazing, gifted person you are and let the yoga of holding on to your Truth help you be MORE YOURSELF! As Neem Karoli Baba says "Love everyone and tell the truth." Jai! Silvia